Cover image for Nightshade
Title:
Nightshade
ISBN:
9780425219560
Edition:
1st ed.
Publication Information:
New York : Berkley Prime Crime, 2008.
Physical Description:
viii, 289 p. ; 24 cm.
Geographic Term:
Summary:
China's herb shop and catering business may be thriving, but she's still reeling from her father's death, and not even remotely interested in her half-brother Miles's investigation into that event. China's husband, on the other hand, has no such qualms. And when fate forces her to get involved as well, China realizes it's time to bring the past to light-or else it will haunt her the rest of her life. But China and McQuaid discover that Miles may have been keeping as many secrets as he seemed determined to uncover. How deep do the layers of secrecy go? And who has a stake in concealing the truth after sixteen years?
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Summary

Summary

China's herb shop and catering business may be thriving, but she's still reeling from her father's death, and not even remotely interested in her half-brother Miles's investigation into that event. China's husband, on the other hand, has no such qualms. And when fate forces her to get involved as well, China realizes it's time to bring the past to light-or else it will haunt her the rest of her life. But China and McQuaid discover that Miles may have been keeping as many secrets as he seemed determined to uncover. How deep do the layers of secrecy go? And who has a stake in concealing the truth after sixteen years?


Author Notes

Susan Wittig Albert was born in Illinois in 1940. In 1985, she changed careers from working as the vice president and an English professor at Texas State University to becoming a full-time writer.

During the mid- to late-1980s, Albert was a ghostwriter for the Nancy Drew mystery series. She wrote the acclaimed "Work of Her Own: How Women Create Success and Fulfillment off the Traditional Career Track" in 1992. Under the pseudonym of Robin Paige, Albert and her husband, Bill Albert, co-authored a twelve-volume mystery series set in late Victorian/Edwardian England.

Albert writes the bestselling China Bayles mystery series, which features as its main character a Texas herbalist who had been a criminal attorney in Houston. Albert also writes the Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter historical fantasy series, which is set in England during the early twentieth century.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

Former attorney China Bayles, now the proprietor of a small herb shop in Pecan Springs, Tex., finally gets some answers to her questions about the death of her cold, distant father, who perished in a fiery car accident 16 years earlier, in the satisfying conclusion to a trilogy that began with Bleeding Hearts and Spanish Dagger, the preceding two books within Albert's long-running cozy series. When China's half-brother, Miles, hires China's husband, Mike McQuaid, a former homicide officer struggling to establish himself as a PI, to investigate the fatal crash, China isn't sure this is a good idea. Her reservations prove well founded after the secretive Miles turns out to have his own agenda. Fans will be pleased that by supplementing China's usual first-person narration with McQuaid's third-person perspective, Albert casts fresh light on his character and his relationship with China. Snippets of plant lore, mostly to do with the nightshade family, add spice. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Booklist Review

Still angry after finding out about her father's secret second family, herbalist China Bayles is uninterested in her half-brother Miles' desire to investigate their father's accidental automobile death 16 years ago to see if it was really murder. However, Miles hires China's husband, McQuaid, a private investigator, to look into the case, and China becomes involved despite herself after another unexpected death occurs. Using old files of Miles' mother, and evidence from her father's burned-out car, she and McQuaid uncover long-ago corruption in Texas government and business. China must also come to terms with her jealousy over her father's interest in Miles' life and career despite having been distant toward her when she was growing up. In a departure for the long-running series, China only tells part of the story in the first person, with the narrative shifting to third person for McQuaid's investigation. This seventeenth entry in the series continues to display a deep sense of the Texas hill country and to make good use of the strong, likable cast. Details of herbs and herbal remedies continue to flavor the always intriguing plots.--O'Brien, Sue Copyright 2008 Booklist


Library Journal Review

Sixteen-year-old secrets of her father come back to haunt herbalist China Bayles and family in the 16th in the series by Albert, who lives in Bertram, TX. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.